Monday, June 25, 2007

What's in a name?

Ya, I know Shakespeare gave that crap..... What's in a name, but let me tell you lot's in a name. Shakespeare only looked at a rose and said "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"..... yes rose does that but because it doesn't have any mouth and giving scent is all it does; just try calling a person 'piece of crap' and you'll know how sweet he smells (for better results pick a 6.5 feet, 300 pound person for the above experiment).

Are you wondering why i am trying to disturb Mr. Shakespeare resting peacefully in his grave?? I haven't got anything against this great poet but every time someone calls me abhinav...(God! what have Indians got against a 'Y')... I feel like shouting out at my full volume so that our respected poet can hear me in whichever world he is.

From days of my class 1, i have been correcting people after every introduction- sorry it's abhinay not abhinav.....nay not nav.....y not v...... But believe me this 'Abhinay-Abhinav' has been the smallest error that people made in dealing with my name. Let me tell you all funny incidences that happened with me, myself and Abhinay.

So the story starts with spelling of my name becoming ABHINAYA- the extra A was due to stupid English language adding one 'A' to all Indian names, Ram to Rama, Krishn to Krishna and Abhinay to Abhinaya.... believe me nothing annoyed me more than this distortion. This name followed me till Class5, till that I was so shy and quite boy (ya...I knw its difficult to imagine now- me n shy), that I didn't raise my voice against this inhuman torture to my name. But then one day, when I couldn't bear it any more, I shouted at (pls read requested) the teacher to correct the spelling. I forgot to tell you about my English teacher in class 3, she had a additional mistake in her students list and so she used to call me abhineya...O..MY..GOD....I really hated that. Anyways problems didn't end even after sorting out that additional 'A' thing, In class 5, my moral science teacher- Sr. Ansa jese (school buddies please chk the spelling) had a habit of forgetting my name, God only knows why only mine, and every class she would call me Abhimanyu (??? why??? God knows why only abhimanyu) and every time I'll remind her that it's Abhinay and she would say- 'Oh that's a tough name', yes every time... every class 3 days a week .

Apart from above there were some other small incidences also but not as disastrous as those. Please remember Abhinay-Abhinav thing continued during above period also. Now when I got use to correcting Indians, last year I encountered German attacks on my name, when I told my lab mates my name, next five minutes they struggled (silently) with the pronunciation and finally everyone of them came up with a different version of their own- results were varied- from ebinay, aabinay to abinaay. Also during their silent struggle with my name I could see the fear.... fear that they will have to call this tough name everyday. Most correct was my roommate, who probably practiced it a few hours, who called me abhinaay (only he and my project guide could pronounce 'h' in my name)

After my first experience with European pronunciation, This year I was prepared for French attacks......But..... here in lab I found that my lab mates are two Chinese students, one Jordanian and only one French student (ya only one!! even I was surprised, only one french student in a French lab), I mean apart from my guide who is a French Professor. There are a few PhD students also but there also we have a similar distribution. So let me tell you their approaches-
Chinese - aa.bhi.naa.y (for proper visualization think about kung-fu movies... aa... yaa... ha)
Arabs - abbiney (they say that its similar to abbi- arabic for father :-), ya so from now on call me Godfather)
French- aabhinaay or abhinaay or abinaay (my guide tries to be very careful while pronouncing it)

So this was one side of the name game, sometimes funny and annoying at others. Now let me tell you another side. During school days every year day one used to be introduction day, new teachers would ask every body's name. I am sure it's just for time pass because none of them remembered any body's name, well no ones except mine. It's easy to confuse between many Rahuls, Rohits and Saurabhs (sorry, Rahul, Rohit and Saurabh bhai logon, majak kar raha hoon- well 3 of my dearest friends have these names so no offenses meant) but with Abhinay, which is probably name of 100 out of 1 billion Indian population, isn't easy to confuse ( in fact I personally know only myself with this name). It gives me a feeling of uniqueness in a crowd, I feel like a white tiger in a ocean of yellow ones (, So the summary of this story (long story...i know) is that in spite of all problems I love it.

Advice:- handle names with care....I mean mine only ;-)


  1. Sry Abhinay for torture to your sweet name.

    I also face similar problem, At my home side every elder person use to call me rahul(my bro name).

    Rohit Jain

  2. i can understand the pain of the name game :-)